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Monthly News for November 2016
Message from Michael
 We had another wonderful turnout for our “The Subject Of Race” workshop at the UU Fellowship of Hendersonville last evening, October 11th. We have one more scheduled on November 29th if you would like to attend. I was delightfully surprised to see Phil and Sheila Nungesser in attendance, as well as board member Cynthia Guilfoy ( who also attended the first class) last month. We are having very rich and much needed conversations on the subject of race. Thank you all for your support.
It is often said that everyday is Thanksgiving and there is much truth to this statement, and yet as a culture, November is the month when observe Thanksgiving Day as a National Holiday. That being said, we cannot be thankful or grateful enough for what we have. As we look at the trouble spots around the globe and right here at home, we see how much we have to be thankful for.
The fact that life is not fair to all makes our blessings all the more profound and significant.  The coming holiday season of Thanksgiving and Christmas can be very difficulty for some. The crass commercialism is more than enough to depress many. We must not forget to bring our mind back to those things which we are thankful for to counteract the noise from outside. The German mystic Meister Eckhart tells us that if the only prayer we said each day is thank you, that would be enough. The fact remains that it is not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them that makes the difference.
(Read on regarding the First Principal and self-worth)
                                                            Minister's Column Continued
Sunday Services 
Sunday, 6 November 2016  11am 
Tayria Ward
“Remembering the Dreamtime”

When we access altered brain states, we open our hearts and minds to hear the whispering of the divine. We spend most of our waking life in a hurried, beta mind state. How can we access the alpha and theta brain waves which are known to bring peace, healing, and insights? “An uninterpreted dream is like throwing away an unopened letter from God.” (quote from the Talmud) When we dream, we access a unitive field of consciousness full of hidden meanings and symbolism. How do we begin the journey of working with dreams? How do dreams intersect with daytime life? And which is the true reality: Your waking life, or your dreams? Learn how indigenous dream cultures answer this question.
Sunday, 13 November 2016 11am 
Rev. Michael J.S. Carter
"Moving From Me vs. We to Me and We" For the past year or so I have been myself immersing myself in eastern thought and philosophy. It’s been quite a challenge for me in many ways but I am enjoying it very much. Part of the difficulty is that I must keep reminding myself that I am part of a whole and the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Now, it’s not as difficult as I am making it sound but it is in my consciousness. I am talking about something that I am calling individualism and collectivism. I have come to the conclusion (and I am not alone in this nor original in the thought) that compared to individualistic cultures (aside from First Nations people here in this country), people in collective cultures tend to pay more attention to the groups they belong to rather than the individual. Yet they can also be more bigoted and narrow minded when carried to the extreme. Individualistic extremism is equally as dangerous as it can lead to no acknowledgement or respect for others in a society. Let’s explore the middle road between these two worldviews and perhaps move from Me vs. We, to Me and We.
Sunday, 20 November 2016 11am
Special Guest: Becky Stone
Annual Thanksgiving Service

UUCSV String Band

This is an intergenerational service (the children remain in the Sanctuary) and we’ll again welcome to our pulpit the exceptional storyteller Becky Stone, who will share stories and legends about nature, especially plants and animals. This service also launches the annual RE food drive, so bring a non-perishable item for the Swannanoa Valley Christian Ministries.
Acceptance, Letting Go and Thanksgiving
Rev. Michael J.S. Carter
After our LUUnch Bunch discussion on Tuesday, October 4th, I decided to rework this sermon. Our topic that Tuesday afternoon was on the “Fear of Death.” The vulnerability expressed during that hour, the courage to lay bear feelings about life and death; sharings about grief and loss, inspired this new look at what it means during this season of giving thanks, to learn the lessons of acceptance, letting go, and thanksgiving. My own personal reflections will be my sharing of the story of two patients I had the privilege of ministering to when I was a staff chaplain in a major New York City Hospital, serving on an AIDs unit. Join us! 
Sunday, 4 December 2016 11 am
Dr. Brad Rachman
Title TBA
We begin December by welcoming back to our pulpit Dr. Brad Rachman. Dr. Rachman has been practicing yoga, meditation and mindfulness for over 35 years. He and his wife Martia founded Black Mountain Yoga - a local epi-center for yoga practices and conscious living. He is also the clinical director for the Rachman Clinic, a local, multi-disciplinary center proving personalized medicine through advanced diagnostics and non-toxic treatments. He is a father of 4 daughters and enjoys all things that are alive and filled with spirit.
Religious Education 
For many reasons I look forward to the month of November. My birthday is in November, my favorite holiday is in November, and a lot of my favorites in general are related to November.  The children's RE classes have seen steady attendance and our curricula: Chalice Children, Picture Book UU, and Heeding the Call: Qualities of a Justice Maker are proceeding apace. I am so excited to see so many in our classrooms on Sundays! 
BOO! at the UU was a rousing success! Thank you to all who pitched in to help set up, clean up, and joined us as you helped to make it the fabulous event it is meant to be.
Next up is the IG (intergenerational) service on November 20. This service kicks off the annual RE food drive project for the Swannanoa Valley Christian Ministries serving our local community. Please prepare to bring a non-perishable item on November 20 to help us get our food drive off to a great start. The drive will run from November 20th to the end of December.
Have you heard of Chalica? It is a UU holiday! Chalica is a holiday that begins on the 1st Monday of December and lasts for 7 days: One day for each of our Guiding Principles. This is an opportunity to focus on our UU Guiding Principles by doing something that honors that principle. This can be a fun way for families (especially those with youngsters) to put those Guiding Principles into action and have something concrete to tie into those principles. Who's with me?!
Beata Ball
Director of Religious Education
Social Action Film: "13th"
A new documentary film from Ava DuVenay, director of the film, Selma, chronicles how our justice system has been driven by racism from the days of slavery to today’s era of mass incarceration. The film “13th” is named for the constitutional amendment that abolished slavery with the exception of punishment for crime. The United States accounts for 5 percent of the world’s population, but 25 percent of its prisoners. The film is now available on Netflix and we encourage everyone to see it. A discussion of the film will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Swannanoa Valley, 500 Montreat Rd., Black Mountain, on Sunday, November 6 at 12:30 PM. Herb Way will lead the discussion. Everyone is invited. For more information, contact Roberta at
Watch the trailer here
Editor's note:  if you do not currently use Netflix, you can sign up for a subscription here - if you cancel within the 30 day free trial period you will not be charged. 
Board Report
Your Board of Trustees met on October 17th. These are the highlights of the meeting.  Three months into our fiscal year we are ahead on income with pledges, plate offerings, and fund raising well ahead of anticipated.  Expenses are about as expected. 
Discussion on the roof replacement included: Superior Roofing gave us a bid for the roof replacement of $10,000.  We need to get another bid from a contractor. We will consider the possibility of using The Women Roofers who are volunteers who do roofing for fund raising for their non-profit.  There was also a concern about the contractor needing to have workman’s comp. There was a discussion about cleaning the roof and mending the problem corner.  Frank will check on cleaning the roof.  Frank will check with Scott for recommendations for sound absorbing panels for the enclosed portico. The Board approved for Scott Conklin to fix the outside wall damage in portico.  
January 29th was proposed as a date for holding a committee fair after the Sunday Service. Lee indicated that the playground equipment should be reinforced, signed, and fenced to limit our liability. The BOT authorized spending money to fix the play structure with volunteer labor. Our insurance company suggested that we put signage in our parking lot to restrict parking for church use only and repair any parking lot hazards.  The full minutes from the meeting will be posted in the foyer.
Small Church Leadership
The most recent newsletter from the Southern Region of the UUA (Unitarian Universalist Association) announced  a new variation on their well-established Leadership Experience series.  This training program will focus specifically on the needs of smaller congregations.  The UUCSV Board of Trustees will look at this opportunity at their next meeting to examine if and how our congregation could benefit. The following is from the newsletter:

"Leadership Experience for the Smaller Congregation
Smaller Congregation UU Leadership Experience (SCUULE) addresses the unique challenges and opportunities of congregations with fewer than 120 members (with or without staff). Our inaugural SCUULE will be held February 5-10, 2017 in Florida (Deerhaven Retreat & Conference Center, Paisley, FL). This innovative Leadership Experience offers a full five days of Unitarian Universalist leadership coaching for teams from congregations."   More information is available here."

Message from Michael continued
Another topic I want to touch on briefly is our first UU Principle. That principle affirms the inherent worth and dignity of every person. I have listened to many UUs (especially during this election season) who find this principle difficult to live out in their day to day lives. I understand. It is not always easy to affirm this. Perhaps it will be easier if we affirm this worth in ourselves before we try to affirm it in anyone else. A truly healthy sense of self -worth is more than a head trip. Self-worth requires more than repeating flowering affirmations to convince yourself that you belief certain things about yourself or others. Self-worth is not a by product of others’ opinions about you and your abilities. Self-worth is an understanding on the intellectual level initially, then trusting at the heart level, and finally accepting deep down at the soul level that you are worthy simply because you exist. You must not only believe in your own worthiness—you must know it! This is a process.
Worth is a function of believing, trusting, accepting and understanding that there is nothing inherently imperfect or wrong with you. In Christian speak this means, “that God didn’t make junk.” However way you want to phrase it, you are the sum total of your worth. In other words, your worthiness is proven by your very existence. Your breathing, the beating of your heart, the expansion of your lungs, your mere presence is all that is needed to establish your worth. And that goes for everyone, not just you or I. What you believe about yourself merely confirms it.

When you understand and feel what a gift it is to be alive, you will know that you are worthy. Once you understand and trust yourself to be the unique expression of life that you are, you will feel worthy and accept that you are not a mistake, that you have a right, a divine right to be who you are, exactly as you are. Then you will realize that this is true for all people, whether you like them or not, or whether you agree with them or not. Then, and only then, will you be able to affirm for others, what you affirm for yourself.
“ ...You are a child of the Universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should...” ( Desiderata)

Happy Thanksgiving!

In this issue:
Message from Michael
Sunday Services 
Religious Education 
Social Action Film: "13th"
Small Church Leadership

Good for us!
Leaf Raking Time 
Choir News
Luunch Bunch
PSI Group
Women's Group
Friday Fling
Evensong Singers
At The Mountain
Good for us!
‘Books for Good’ for us!
After receiving a recent quarterly check, our cumulative total from ‘Books for Good’ is $755.03.  We are happily going to donate all of the unsold books from the yard sale. However donations are on hold at this time.  We will deliver to the store as soon as possible.
This means we need to shop and tell all of our book-lover  friends about ‘Books for Good’. Yes, there are still those of us that prefer to hold a book as opposed to reading off a tablet or a screen.
The holidays are coming.  BFG sells gift certificates. Hint! Hint!  If you have any questions please call Teresa Ballinger, 275-8453 
P.S. Books for Good is having a sale Thursday & Friday Nov. 25 and 26.Call or go online for details
Leaf Raking Time 
Dear fellow UUCSV’#ers:  The crisp nights tell us it is fall again.  And those of us cutting the lawn are noticing more leaves and less grass these days in our church lawn. 
The teens and I met and some of them can help the rest of us on Saturday, November 19th, starting at 10:00 am (teens will be there by 11:00 am).  Please put this date and time in your calendars to gather at the church to rake and bag some leaves.  The more hands the more fun and the faster we can get it all done.  If anyone has a leaf grinder/mulcher or large leaf blower, please bring it.  Mulching the leaves before we bag them makes it all go quicker.  Bring gloves and a rake too if you have them.
In fact, bring the whole family as jumping in the leaf piles is part of the process for all of us still young at heart.  Thanks for all who come for the fun and see you there!  If you can’t rake, can you bring a snack for the others? 
Jim Carillon
Grounds organizer at UUCSV
Choir News
We are happy to have a number of new singers in the UUCSV Choir! In November we will meet on the two Sundays before and after Thanksgiving.  The first rehearsal is on the 20th at 12:15 after the service.  I am planning to have our regular rehearsal the next Wednesday the 23rd at 7 PM unless that won't work for a lot of us.   Then we will meet at 10 AM on the day of performance, the 27th.   We welcome new members, and always enjoy singing together.     Linda Metzner,  choir director
Luunch Bunch
The November Luunch Buunch will meet on November 1st.  The topic will be "Pre-Election Anxiety and Anticipation". 
PSI Group
The PSI Group's inaugural meeting was a success, and the group will now be meeting monthly on the 3rd Tuesday at 1:00 pm.  The topic for the November 15 is psychometry. Since energy is all around us, we can learn to sense information in the energy of objects. Participants are requested to bring a personal item such as a piece of jewelry or your car key that has your energy on it. Also bring a standard deck of cards and your intuition.
Women's Group
The women's group meets Friday, November 11th  at 1:00 pm, at the clubhouse, the Lynx Condominiums.
Friday Fling
November’s Friday Fling, a fun party for grown-ups, usually every third Friday of the month, will be held on 18 November at the UUCSV church. Red and white refreshments will be provided; please bring a potluck dish to share.
First movie choice: A Dangerous Method (2011; David Cronenberg, dir.; Keira Knightley, Viggo Mortensen, Michael Fassbender; based on the true story of Jung, Freud, and the patient who came between them).
Second movie choice: Brazil (1985; Terry Gilliam, dir.; Jonathan Pryce, Robert De Niro, Michael Palin; fantasy comedy about a “perfect” future where technology reigns supreme---a cult classic). Potluck begins at 6:30. For further information call Norm Kowal (458-4537).
Evensong Singers
"Evensong" is a group of singers and instrumentalists who bring music twice monthly (Tuesdays) to Care Partners Hospice Solace Center. We practice the same day as we perform, mostly familiar songs of comfort and joy. We all benefit--Solace patients, their families, the staff, and Evensong. Some songs are presented in the great room and others are sung in patient rooms. We welcome new singers and instrumentalists who feel drawn to this work. If interested, contact Gail Ashburn, 828 225 7665,
(Note: Ann Sillman and Ginny Moreland both sing with this group, but it is not UU related. Much of the music offered is drawn from  traditional Christian hymns and songs.)
At The Mountain
Thanksgiving: November 23 - 27, 2016. Join us at The Mountain for a traditional Thanksgiving celebration for family and friends. Enjoy storytelling, games, hiking, learning, and relaxing.
Fall Youth CONs are right around the corner! Community Connections: A youth conference of traditions that bring communities together. More information here .

Elementary Youth CON: November 18 - 20, 2016
Intermediate Youth CON: December 2 - 4, 2016
Senior High Youth CON: December 9 - 11, 2016
Next Newsletter 
The deadline for the next newsletter is November 25th, please submit items to newsletter.uucsv@ The best format is simply in the body of an email. 
Ginny and Jackie 
UUCSV Leadership
Board of Trustees:
Diane Graham
Sarah Kirkpatrick
Frank Pizzardi
David Reid, President
Tina Rosato
Carol Sheeler
Dave Wells, Vice-Pres.
Minister, ex-officio,
non-voting Board Member:
Rev. Michael Carter
Lee Reading

UUCSV  •  500 Montreat Road  •  Black Mountain, NC 28711

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